- Ronald A. Katz
Ronald A. Katz (born in 1935 or 1936 [http://www.forbes.com/asap/2002/0624/065_print.html Pfeiffer, Eric "Setting patent traps" Forbes Magazine, June 24, 2002] ] ) is an
inventorand president of Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing LP. His inventions are primarily in the field of automated call centertechnology. Katz has developed a portfolio of more than 50 US patents covering his innovations. His inventions are related to toll free numbers, automated attendant, automated call distribution, voice response unit, computer telephone integration and speech recognition. [ [http://library.findlaw.com/2004/Jun/9/133461.html Bednarek et. al, "Katz Patent Reexamination: A Change in Momentum Favoring RAKTL Targets", ShawPittman, June 9, 2004] ]
Inventor and entrepreneur
In 1961, Ronald Katz co-founded Telecredit, Inc. This was the first company to "enable merchants to verify consumer checks over the phone using an automated system without the assistance of a live operator". [ [http://michaelbest.com/resources/docs/uploaded/American%20Banker_Jerry%20Fellows%20Quoted.pdf Bills, Steve, "Patent Lawsuit Involving Citi Seen Having Big Implications", American Banker, July 27, 2005] ] In 1998, Mr. Katz formed a partnership with
American Express Companyto provide call processing services. That partnership later became First Data Corporation.
Ronald Katz has since founded Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. (RAKTL). RAKTL's primary purpose is to license the Katz
patent portfolioto companies using automated call centers. Over 150 companies have taken a license to the patents. [ [https://www.insurancenewsnet.com/article.asp?n=1&neID=200701161680.2_7c05003d7a0b6965 "The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. and Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. Settle Patent Lawsuit and Enter Into License Agreement", PR Newswire, January 16, 2007] ] RAKTL has thus earned approximately a billion dollars in license fees. Katz has been characterized as a patent trolllargely due to the aggressive legal tactics used by RAKTL, [ [http://www.security.ithub.com/article/Intellectual+Security+Patent+Everything+You+Do+Before+Someone+Else+Does/167480_2.aspx Garretson, Rob, "Intellectual Security: Patent Everything You Do, Before Someone Else Does", Security IT Hub, Dec 5, 2005] ] such as suing infringers who refuse to take a license.
The written description of the invention in Katz's patents usually runs 20 to 40 pages, but the claims run into hundreds of pages. "He has literally thousands of claims, and they differ only in trivial respects. Many are broad and vague, and sorting them out takes a lot of time," says an attorney who asked not to be named. Katz denies that his strategy is to overly amend and complicate his patents.
In 2004, the Director of the
United States Patent and Trademark Officeordered four of the Katz patents to be reexamined. [ [http://www.uspto.gov/go/og/2004/week18/patreq1.htm United States Patent and Trademark Office OG Notices: 04 May 2004] ] The Director determined that a "substantial new question of patentability" had been raised. Since then, certain members of the public have also filed requests for reexamination of ten more Katz patents. These requests were based on said members of the public submitting new prior art that could raise "substantial new question of patentability" as to the validity of the patents. In three of the cases, the patent office disagreed and felt that the new prior art was not sufficiently strong to warrant a reexamination. In the other seven cases, the patent office agreed and ordered reexaminations. All reexaminations were still ongoing as of January 2007.
*US patent|5128984 [http://www.citigroup.com/citigroup/privacy/terms.htm Partial list of Ronald A. Katz patents licensed to Citibank as of January 3, 2006] ]
List of patents undergoing reexamination
*US patent|5251252 [http://www.uspto.gov/go/og/ Official Gazette of the USPTO, 2004 - 2006] ]
Partial list of Katz licensees
AT&T[http://michaelbest.com/resources/docs/uploaded/American%20Banker_Jerry%20Fellows%20Quoted.pdf Bills, Steve, “Patent Lawsuit Involving Citi Seen Having Big Implications, American Banker, July 27, 2005] ]
Bank of America
Delta Air Lines
Home Shopping Network
Sears, Roebuck and Company[ Press Release, " [http://web.archive.org/web/20040415082149/http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040406/latu073_1.html Sears, Roebuck and Co. Obtains a License Under the Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. Patents] ", Los Angeles, April 6, 2004. ]
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